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Friday 1.3.13 Richard’s put up a small scale table tennis table in readiness for the boys arrival. We play several bouts of it but are very rusty! After a day in the studio where the sun shone in through my large circular window and on a compulsion ( or was it because it was the first day of March ) I painted a large leaping hare on a panel & frame that John must have made up for me about eight years ago. Recently I’d got Richard to bring it over from the studio on the other side of the Lane to this one in the house where I started to work it as a large seascape but after a few days decided to abandon it and give it up to be reprimed with a darker ground for a larger scale image. Saturday 2.3.13 Its a sunny day and Silja e mails again saying they’ve just sold a small painting to a lady who’s taken it back to Cornwall. H, K, I and S arrive at lunchtime to celebrate R’s birthday. He’s made a big cake with candles which we have late afternoon when my Mum has also also joined us. Sunday 3.3.13 Kev, R and our friend and neighbour Andrew, move my horse sculpture from the downstairs studio in the house to the studio across the Lane, in preparation for the visit by the Women in Racing the week after next. H and K take my Mum shopping whilst we entertain the boys and are busily employed making an outfit for Isaac to wear to school on World Book Day. H and K are getting things for Samuel to go as Tintin; Isaac was going as the Tin Woodman for which we have collected silver materials but has now decided on King Rex and I am rather short of red felt for the cloak or robe so I have to make it out of pieces. R makes him a very tall gold crown. We also play our traditional cardboard boxes game etc. and magnetic Scrabble on one of our flat radiators. When H and K get back they go for a run before we have supper which the freshly bathed boys eat in their pyjamas as they sleep on the journey back and are gently carried into bed. Monday 4.3.13 Payment from ACS being artists resale right for a painting sold at Christie’s at the end of last year. Tuesday 5.3.13 Working away in the studio. Wednesday 6.3.13 R goes to London and whilst he’s in the Alpha Gallery they introduce him to Brian Marlow a very nice man who now has three of my paintings, having just bought Urban Grapevine which he was there to collect. Richard had a very interesting conversation with him as he’s known my work for many years from when I showed round the corner at the Portal Gallery. But I first got to know him when he phoned up out of the blue and bought one of the miniatures I had painted for the National Star College during one of my charity open studios a few years ago. He also bought one of my large corrugated pieces from Rob Whittle. Thursday 7.3.13 We’re waiting to hear from Jane that David’s been given the all clear to come out of hospital. Eventually it comes at about 1.30 so R drives over to collect her then to Oxford for David, who’s had a half knee replacement. Friday 8.3.13 Paula arrives via train from London then taxi to visit the studio; after being a lawyer she did an art history degree and has set up a business placing art in very expensive developments in London. She tells me that when she bought my sweetshop painting it was the first painting she had ever bought, which she called ‘Mr Dove’s’ as that was the sweetshop she visited as a child. She’s working on some very enterprising ideas with galleries and also organises lectures by art experts. The time passes very quickly and after lunch Richard runs her back to the station as she has a dinner with a prospective client this evening. Call from Jess about an enquiry she’s had on one of my paintings in progress. Saturday 9.3.13 Still working on the Tango Dancers Sunday 10.3.13 Lovely hand tied bunch of flowers arrives from Nathan and a little later another exquisite bunch from Henrietta as its mothers Day. Richard takes my Mum shopping then she has tea with us and I give. her a special Mothers day haircut!and send photographs of her with it and the beautiful blooms to my sister Gill and Henrietta. Monday 11.3.13 bright intelligent group of art Foundation students from Gloucestershire College visit the studio this afternoon. Its good as its quite a small group so we are able to engage in a lot of conversations. At least two of them show me their own work on their phones. I’m particularly delighted as one of them received one of my bursaries last year. They are nearly all going on to degree courses, two at the University of Gloucestershire. Busy working on a corrugated piece. Tuesday 12.3.13 Richard drives to London to return a couple of paintings I had borrowed back for the students’ visit yesterday. Wednesday 13.3.13 Up bright and early. Richard’s already prepared the smoked salmon blinis when I come down from the bathroom. They are nicely laid out by the time I get over to the studio at 9.30 where we serve them and bucks fizz to our visitors from Women in Racing. They are wonderfully enthusiastic and engage with the work and the time flies by. Its a beautiful day for Ladies Day at the Festival. A few of them come back in the evening too. Thursday 14.3.13 Visit from prospective clients who have been looking at the work for several years now with the view to buying a particular painting. A delightful couple Alan and Marilyn find that we have several things in common including the fact that Marilyn was studying fashion at the art school whilst I was an art student there and Reggie Dent was the Principal. We swap stories; Alan is a great enthusiast and has visited the Brian Sinfield Gallery during his search having first come across the work a my exhibition A Day at the Races at Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum in 2006. Friday 15.3.13 Up very early to travel over to the Forest of Dean for the Sculpture Trail Trustees meeting at Beechenhurst Lodge. When I arrive the group are sitting having coffee in the cafe whilst Phil has gone to the station to collect Jack who runs the Acme Studios in the East End of London. We are a slightly smaller group today as at least three of the Trustees are unable to attend. Glyn Williams and Jack being the two most recently appointed trustees. Lots of discussions about what the Trust is for, its way forward and the paper Jack has put together on our thoughts on what we are and our aims; our mission and values (the FODST manages and promotes a unique collection of sculptural work in the forest) what is achievable over the next year including developing the Beechenhust space for use by various groups; exploring digital technology and building connections. Commissioning programme, exploring funding opportunities and developing programme of events. We also discuss proposed visit to the Grizedale Forrest Sculpture Park. It pours with rain during our meeting and I think of the poor racegoers in Cheltenham, many of whom had been travelling down on the same train as Jack. We have lunch in the Cafe before we all depart. Saturday 16.3.13 I’ve been starting quite a lot of new canvases and ideas for the past month or two, leaving them about half way through to follow the muse in related directions. Then I’ll go back to them later after more contemplation. Sunday 17.3.13 A glorious sunny day; feels like spring is almost here. Brilliant light in the studio making it conducive to work on a couple of rather long outstanding commissions. Monday 18.3.13 Not as bright today. Continuing with commissions. Tuesday 19.3.13 Working on the commission and also preparing the words for my introduction to tomorrow’s 14th Annual de Ferriers lecture organised by the friends of Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum. Wednesday 20.3.13 After day in studio we drive to the Bacon Theatre where I am introducing Caroline de Guitaut, curator of Decorative Arts at the Royal Collection where she has worked for many years. She has written widely on the royal jewels and dress - amongst these books are Faberge in the Royal Collection (2003); the Royal Tour - a souvenir album (2009) and Royal Faberge (2011). She has also curated many exhibitions in the Queen’s Galleries and at Buckingham Palace - these include he Royal Wedding Dress - A story of great British Design and Diamonds - a Jubilee Celebration for which she also wrote the accompanying book of the same title to officially mark Her majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. She’s a good speaker and I learned a lot of things I didn’t know about diamonds, including the fact that Queen Mary had certain of the stones fixed in a way that they could be detached from tiaras etc. so that she could wear them as broaches on her dresses too. For me the tiny crown made for Queen Victoria only 10cm in diameter was perhaps the most charming as it reflected her individuality and enhanced her small stature; even this exquisite little piece contained over 1000 diamonds. Great to see the Hurrell’s, ( gave them their little commission in very small carrier bag!) the Hoyles and Wallace there. Thursday 21.3.13 Doing a little more to the top of the Tango Dancers. Friday 22.3.13 Up early for the Bishop’s Breakfast meeting at the Cathedral where the presentation was by Julian Wain CEO of Gloucester City Council and Richard Graham the MP. Much has been achieved through the regeneration programme but it was felt there was still some way to go with making some of the people feel more positive about the city. It has some of the finest medieval architecture in the county and the Cathedral is breathtakingly beautiful with its fine fan vaulting which is considered to be some of the best and certainly the earliest in Europe. LINC’s 15th birthday concert in the Pittville Pump Rooms given by the wonderful Churchdown Male Voice Choir. Friday 23.3.13 Alan comes to collect The Tango Dancers it is nice to know that it is going to such a good home. Statement for reproduction fees from Bridgeman Art Library, particularly interested to see that Readers Digest are using my Rumba painting! Sunday 24.3.13 Still working on the Storms Commission Monday 25.3.13 Ditto Tuesday 26.3.13 R collects the two paintings from the RWA that they have borrowed for the Reigning Cats and Dogs exhibition that has been on since early January. Wednesday 27.3.13 Working on Michael Storm’s commission Thursday 28.3.13 R in London collecting the canvas from the Chelsea Arts Club for their Heroes and Villains charity exhibition then onto Henrietta and Kev’s to look after the little boys. I am finishing off the commission that will be collected tomorrow and also working on a painting for the Fosse’s mixed exhibition. Friday 29.3.13 Good Friday! Michael and Jaqueline call to collect their commission it is quite a celebration as it is Michael's Birthday so we all enjoy a glass of champagne as we discuss the fact that they are keen Scrabble Players which is the subject and title of their painting. Saturday 30.3.13 R collects Nathan from the train station late afternoon just as Henrietta, Kev and the boys arrive it is so good to have them all home. Sunday 31.3.13 A day full of joy surrounded by family as my Mum joins us too. lots of games, tramp alining, table tennis and talk as well as the exchanging of eggs and an egg hunt!on a sunny but cold Easter Sunday. Very touched by the big response to the image of the Rood for St Michael's my crucifixion painting that I had sent out to all my friends on Facebook on Good Friday